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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 08/30/2011

Morning Bits

Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t a fan of multilateralism. “We respect our allies, and we must always seek to engage them in military missions. At the same time, we must be willing to act when it is time to act. We cannot concede the moral authority of our nation to multilateral debating societies. And when our interests are threatened, American soldiers should be led by American commanders.”

Jeffrey Toobin usually isn’t a fan of conservative judges, but he gives extraordinary praise to Justice Clarence Thomas. “This is one of the most startling reappraisals to appear in The New Yorker for many years. It is hard to think of other revisions as radical as the declownification of Clarence Thomas: Herbert Hoover as the First Keynesian? Henry Kissinger as the Great Humanitarian?” I think Sen Harry Reid (D-Nev. owes Thomas one heck of an apology.

Jim Pethokoukis isn’t a fan of Alan Krueger, the new chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “Anyone still looking for a turn to the right from Obama will be mightily disappointed. Krueger is part of the center-left economic consensus that believes a) America is undertaxed, b) government must become permanently bigger as America ages, and c) climate change requires a vast new regulatory scheme to control carbon emissions. . . . Krueger, who was Tim Geithner’s economist over at Treasury, is probably best known for his 1990s study that showed raising the minimum wage in New Jersey didn’t increase unemployment among fast-food workers. But that study seems to have been debunked.” What — you thought smart economists would want to work for this president?

Anyone who isn’t a fan of Iran sanctions may take a measure of justification in this. “Iran won’t stop uranium enrichment activities the U.N. has demanded it halt, the country’s nuclear chief said Monday. Iran says it needs stockpiles for a medical research reactor, and that the level of enrichment — up to 20 percent — is far below the more than 90 percent needed to build a nuclear weapon. But U.S. officials have expressed concern Iran is taking steps toward greater enrichment.” So what does President Obama do now?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn’t a fan of transparency. “Now, as Gov. Rick Perry embarks on a presidential campaign, it is unlikely the public will access records that provide many revealing details about his decade-long tenure as governor. While Perry extols open government — most recently challenging Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to ‘open the books’ of the nation’s central bank — he has adopted policies that shroud his own office in a purposeful opaqueness that confounds prying reporters — or any member of the public questioning his policies.” Not very Tea Party-ish.

Obama isn’t a fan of the private sector, says House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). “‘I think the administration has … already demonstrated that it is not interested in focusing on private sector growth,’ Cantor said Monday on Fox News. ‘The record has been thus far, in this administration, a continued expansion of government, continued grabs at trying to tell people who want to go out and invest and create a profit that maybe they’ve done so, done enough already, and that we need to take that money and put it elsewhere.’”

Mickey Kaus isn’t a fan of the “there’s nothing else Obama could have done” school of blogging apologists. He has a list of 10 items including: “Instead of letting GOPs make him the champion of bigger government and higher taxes, Obama could have said he thought higher taxes are probably inevitable but that he wasn’t going to raise them or cut a penny from benefits until he was sure all the fat has been wrung out of Washington.” I think liberal bloggers have to get out of their intellectual cocoon more often.

Mark Krikorian isn’t a fan of Perry or Mitt Romney’s immigration stance. (This is a gold star in their favor in my book, but the GOP electorate doesn’t agree.) He blasts: “neither Perry nor Romney seem to have strong views on immigration, their positions apparently driven by a desire to curry favor with big campaign contributors or the Mexican government. This is in contrast to Bush, who actually believed all his immigration baloney, and that contrast is a good thing, because a craven pol with his finger in the wind is much easier to sway with political pressure than a true-believer.” Shudder.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 08/30/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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